Philadelphia native Barney Cortez is back with a new EP, Farewell Dogs. This release sees Cortez strip back from the power pop sounds of his previous release, Pretty Thin, and remember some dearly departed friends along the way.
Previously a co-founder of Philly indie dance group Nicos Gun, and currently a touring guitarist with Rayland Baxter, this is Cortez’s second official solo release. He strips down his approach on Farewell Dogs, echoing a similar vibe to that of Grizzly bear or Fleet Foxes. On “Out of the Wheel,” a lovely harmonica melody accompanies Cortez’s subdued vocals. On “Culture Club,” Cortez sings about feelings of inclusion and wanting to feel unique. The EP includes two short interludes, “Hush” and “Purple Shields,” which mesh nicely with the other songs.
The album is dedicated in the memory of four individuals: Tiger Merritt, Billy Swayze, Luanne Wise and Kathleen McDonnell. Merritt, guitarist of psychedelic rock band Morning Teleportation passed away on April 4th of this year, while Swayze was killed in an auto accident in January. Cortez was Wise’s nephew. His anguish can be felt throughout the EP, particularly on “Out of the Wheel” and “Brains in Bondage.” All proceeds from the release will go to the Merritt family.
You can listen/purchase the EP now on Bandcamp, and see Cortez live at Ortlieb’s on June 29th; tickets and more information can be found here.
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